Friday, May 12, 2006

Field Trip!!!!!!!!!!! Part One.

Ok, I should now be called "A Passion for Teaching and Hypocrisy".

I've been complaining a lot lately about how there are soooooo many things that students are doing outside of class, almost making a scene about it. Then what do I do? I take a group of kids to San Francisco!!!!!! Yes, the ultimate hypocrite, that would be me. However, I had an opportunity to take a group of kids to the San Francisco Federal Reserve, and I took it! From the beginning, with additional lessons learned from this, my first field trip.

The plan was to take 30 students to the Federal Reserve in San Francisco. Why 30? That's the maximum that the FED would allow from any one party. So my first question was how I was going to add something onto the trip to accentuate the FED tour. I mean, I've been discussing the FED this week at length (in my wonderful fashion), but the nations central bank can get boring. My first idea was the former Pacific Stock Exchange (now the San Francisco branch of the NYSE). I couldn't find any tour information, so that was a bust. Then I had an idea about Fisherman's Wharf. How could I exploit the massive commercialism into an economics idea, while still allowing for the kids to enjoy their visit? A scavenger hunt!!!! Yep, a good old fashion Economics scavenger hunt. So I went to work and I found a scavenger hunt that Stanford does for an ice breaker with students. I then adjusted the different hunts and realized that it would be better if I bought disposable cameras for the students to take pictures of themselves doing different tasks. Great idea!! So I nailed a 15 picture scavenger hunt, some related (sort of) to Economics (Have a member of the group take a picture with the manager of a store, take a picture of a group member wearing the uniform from a store), and some related to nothing (take a picture of someone in your group posing as Nicholas Cage in The Rock ,on your knees with arms raised, with Alcatraz in the background).
Then came the transportation. The price of the school bus alone was going to be $700. Ouch. I decided to charge $30 per student, and instead of driving all the way to the city, use some of the money to purchase ferry tickets and boat over to the city. So the requirements of the trip:
-$30
-Photo ID (FED requirement)
-Good behavior
-73% or better average in my class

The last requirement caused a massive outrage in my class, but I can't condone someone working below a 'C' being rewarded for being less than average on academics. It was more important that they stay and finish high school.

What was the turnout? Sparse. Sports, the Senior trip, the grade requirement, all created a small turnout for this trip. Immediately I became worried. We were not going to have enough money for a bus, and a another driver was going to be needed. I cancelled the bus, a mother that was qualified to drive volunteered, and it was on! By the day of departure, the group had grown to seven guys and seven girls, fourteen total. The good news was that kids that had little or no exposure with the city signed to go, and a good group of Intro students signed up. Cool. Who knows, this might be a really good memory for some of these kids.

Then again, this is 14 high school seniors, a mother, and a teacher executing his first field trip. Anything could happen.

More later.
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